As someone who just missed out on the 80’s, I’ve always been curious about that decade. (John Hughes movies are some of my favorites!). So, I was excited to dive in to Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford.
First, a synopsis: “New York’s last bohemia—the glittering, decadent downtown club scene of the 1980s—is the setting for this brilliantly winning novel about a smart, vulnerable young woman taking a deep dive into her dark side, essential for fans of Sweetbitter, Fleabag, and books by Patti Smith.”
*I received this book for free from the publisher (Atria Books) in exchange for an honest review.
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Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford: My Thoughts
This was a fascinating portrayal of New York in the 1980s. Somehow; it was seedy and glamorous all at once. I had heard of the club/party scene back then, but always in a removed way. It was interesting to get a firsthand glance at the over-the-top clubs, celebrity artist appearances, and drug-laden nights.
Normally I don’t have much patience for people who are obsessed with “being seen” and rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. But something about Phoebe’s character intrigued me – there was more to her than that.
I loved her relationship with her father, and her friendship with Carmen (to a certain point, at least). I was even rooting for Phoebe’s transformation into Astrid the fortune teller, with the movie tickets as ‘tarot cards’ being a cool touch. But by the end, her naivete and blase attitude had me a little peeved.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It felt like watching an artsy film. It reminded me of Party Monster (starring Macauley Caulkin), but not quite so gruesome. While some characters felt too surface-level and the plot meandered a bit, the setting was brilliant and the story held my interest.
Rating: 3.75 (out of 5) stars
Release date: April 6th, 2021
Looking for more great book recommendations? Check out my list of exciting April 2021 Fiction Book Releases!